China’s leadership has sacked Li Shangfu, the defence minister, who disappeared from public view several weeks ago, according to local media.
Li has been removed from both his post as defence minister and his post in China’s State Council, local media reported on Tuesday.
Li had not appeared in public since Aug. 29, when he gave a speech at a Chinese-African peace forum.
Western media outlets later began speculating on the reasons for his disappearance, with some citing U.S. Government sources saying there was an investigation into Li.
The party has been tightening its grip on the army since the summer, replacing several high-ranking military officers on suspicion of corruption.
Beijing removed then-foreign minister Qin Gang from office at the end of July, replacing him with his predecessor Wang Yi.
Qin Gang had also been out of the public eye for weeks beforehand.
It is not uncommon in China for high-ranking officials to disappear from the public eye, often because they have become the subject of a disciplinary investigation. (dpa/NA)